Raleigh had fallen, and Union troops were headed this way. The Williamson Page family hid in the basement of their Morrisville home as the battle raged, after stashing their valuables in a hollow tree.
It was North versus South, and four years into the conflict, Western Wake was about to land a front-row seat to the end of the Civil War.
This Saturday, April 18, witness history in action at the Fight for Morrisville Station, a free daylong sesquicentennial event complete with living history demonstrations, lectures, special tours and the unveiling of a new walking tour.
The family-friendly activities begin at Morrisville Town Hall, located at 100 Town Hall Drive, and run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., as follows:
9 a.m., Event opens to public
10 a.m., School of the Soldier. Learn about the equipment and tactics of Civil War soldiers. Re-enactors will demonstrate 19th-century firearms and discuss the weapons, uniforms and equipment that helped soldiers live and fight.
11 a.m., King of Battle: Civil War Artillery. Artillery played a pivotal role in the fighting around Morrisville. Re-enactors will talk about cannons used during the Civil War and demonstrate the power of artillery.
11:30 a.m., Lecture at Morrisville History Center: Undaunted Heart. Hear the true story of Union officer Smith Adkins and Southern lady Ellie Swain, whose courtship and marriage defied convention in the closing days of the Civil War. Join Suzy Barile, author of Undaunted Heart, as she discusses her research into this story.
Noon, Tarheels at War: A presentation by the North State Rifles describing the evolution of North Carolina soldiers and weapons during the Civil War.
1 p.m., Anniversary ceremony at Morrisville History Center
2 p.m., School of the Soldier. Learn about the equipment and tactics of Civil War soldiers. Re-enactors will demonstrate 19th-century firearms and discuss the weapons, uniforms and equipment that helped soldiers live and fight.
2:30 p.m., Preservation of Morrisville’s Civil War artifacts. In 1861, Company I, 6th North Carolina State Troops were formed in Morrisville. The flag given to the company before they left for war is in need of conservation. Join historian and re-enactor Rick Walton, who will talk about the effort to save the flag of the North Carolina Grays.
3 p.m., King of Battle. Artillery played a pivotal role in the fighting around Morrisville. Re-enactors will talk about cannons used during the Civil War and demonstrate the power of artillery.
3:30 p.m., Lecture at Morrisville History Center: The Battle of Morrisville. Join local historian Ernest Dollar as he details the fighting around Morrisville Station on April 13, 1865.
4 p.m., Dance. Learn popular 19th-century dances and try them out to live period music.
5 p.m., Event closes
For more on Saturday’s events, visit battleofmorrisville.org, or call (919) 463-6200.
Click here to read the full Cary Magazine article about Morrisville’s role in the Civil War!